Menaf Seçilmiş, Zero Density technical artist
Tell us about an average day in your role
I am a technical artist specializing in Unreal Engine. My role in Zero Density involves creating demos that showcase both our virtual studio gear and Unreal Engine-based Reality graphics software. I start my day with a team meeting at 11am. If there is a demo to be built that day, I will prepare the required proof of concept and verify that we have all the necessary hardware in our internal studio for things like monitoring. I will also check our SDI connections and camera settings.
If there is a specific demo project, resource or animation we need, I design or edit it with the Zero Density reality editor. I will also help film necessary productions, test new versions of Reality products, and provide feedback to the test team and developer team. Whenever I have a spare moment, I always strive to learn more about virtual studio and augmented reality pipelines, and I regularly watch training videos on Unreal Engine’s learning portal, as well as put what I learn into practice.
How did you get started in the media industry?
I stumbled upon Zero Density while completing a computer engineering degree that required a summer internship. The internship at Zero Density caught my attention because the idea of using a game engine for virtual production in broadcast seemed very interesting to me. I’ve been passionate about games since my childhood, so I was interested in a job where I got to work at Unreal Engine and experience the exciting vibe of the TV industry. I applied for the internship, got accepted, then stayed at Zero Density after it was completed.
What training did you have before entering the industry?
Before starting the industry, I was a computer engineering student. While I was a student, I had the opportunity to take a game design course. Compared to other courses, that was the course that caught my attention the most: I knew I wanted to work in Unreal Engine when I graduated. During my internship at Zero Density, I took the time to train using the Unreal Engine learning platform. I also participated in some challenges and created simple projects, which helped me improve. I lacked broadcasting experience, but during my internship I had the opportunity to work with a wide range of equipment and highly experienced collaborators. I have helped provide several live broadcasts, webinars, demos and product launches and have gained significant experience.
Why do you like working in the industry?
I’ve only been in this industry for 11 months. And what I like most is that every day is different. I constantly have the opportunity to work on new projects and gain new experiences. Being in direct contact with the most significant television and production channels in the world through the demos we give motivates and amuses me. I never thought I’d have the chance to help create virtual studios for the likes of The Weather Channel, Fox Sports and the BBC!
What advice would you give to someone looking to explore a similar role to yours?
I would recommend anyone hoping to become a technical artist to learn both Unreal Engine and Reality Engine – both can be downloaded for free to their computer. Try to design even very simple projects, it will help you a lot when you want to find a job. If you work in the television industry, also try researching internships at production companies to learn from experienced people.